Just Like Jackie (Hardcover)
A spunky orphan girl named after Jackie Robinson lives with her grandfather who, while fiercely devoted to her, is beginning to slip into dementia. Robinson would do anything to protect him, after all he taught her how to tap maple trees and a million other life lessons. He is the only person she has ever really be able to count on. When Robinson stands up to a bully at school and losses her cool in the process, she must join a special group of kids who are all dealing with bad stuff, including her bully. When the class is assigned with each making a family tree the kids in the group begin to share their stories. Heartbreaking (though it has a happy ending) and touching as hell with a narrative voice just at the right place for the age it is aiming for. Think Katherine Hannigan or Sarah Pennypacker. I was also reminded of the great, Crystal Allen (THE LAURA LINE) and Rita Williams Garcia— Jenny S., Publisher Rep
Family is family, no matter what it looks like. Readers will cheer for this pitch-perfect story, just right for fans of such books as The Great Gilly Hopkins and Fish in a Tree.
For as long as Robinson Hart can remember, it's just been her and Grandpa. He taught her about cars, baseball, and everything else worth knowing. But Grandpa's memory has been getting bad--so bad that he sometimes can't even remember Robbie's name.
She's sure that she's making things worse by getting in trouble at school, but she can't resist using her fists when bullies like Alex Carter make fun of her for not having a mom.
Now she's stuck in group guidance--and to make things even worse, Alex Carter is there too. There's no way Robbie's going to open up about her life to some therapy group, especially not with Alex in the room. Besides, if she told anyone how forgetful Grandpa's been getting lately, they'd take her away from him. He's the only family she has--and it's up to her to keep them together, no matter what.
Praise for Just Like Jackie
"I was truly moved by this refreshing story about a scrappy young heroine and her struggle to protect her family."--Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax
"Just Like Jackie is a lovely story of acceptance--about what makes a family and how we make our own families, and about embracing our differences."--Ann M. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Rain Reign
"A fresh coming-of-age novel as feisty, funny, and forthright as its protagonist. Robinson overcomes obstacles with wit, grit, and a growing compassion for others, showing us that families are what we make them and happiness is found in the simple gifts we take for granted. A rich, rewarding read all around."--John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day
"As close to perfect as a book for middle grade children can get "--Cammie McGovern, author of Just My Luck
★ "Stoddard debuts with a quiet but powerful narrative that gently unpacks Alzheimer's, centers mental health, and moves through the intimate and intense emotional landscape of family--what seems to break one and what can remake it. Validating, heart-rending, and a deft blend of suffering and inspiration."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A home-run story that will resonate with all who feel they might not fit into the perfect definition of a family."--School Library Journal